Album review: Sleigh Bells, Reign of Terror

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The second Sleigh Bells album retains every bit of their debut's bombast amid less migraine-inducing noise, the metal riffage and heavy beats augmented by added melody and better production. Reign of Terror is definitely more listenable and a little bit more diverse, too. Derek Miller capably restrains his axe on the mostly tender "End of the Line" and "Road To Hell" while Alexis Krauss sounds as angelic as ever when she isn't shrieking elsewhere. Sleigh Bells bring plenty of attitude to the party, attempting to redefine the hype track on "True Shred Guitar," but much of the album's later tracks come off as mellower by comparison. Not quite good enough to displace Treats as the group's defining work, still, Reign of Terror is a great follow-up and reveals Sleigh Bells' overall musical growth. (Out Feb. 21 via Mom + Pop)

3 Stars

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